In our first paper, we looked specifically at the rhetorical devices Coates employed. We’ve also continued a discussion implicit in Coates’s work—the way that power works, in this case most directly with race. We’ve discussed Zinn’s notion of maintaining power through division, as well as Freire’s notions of education wrapped up in power; namely, we’ve focused on Freire’s notion that treating students as empty vessels places them in a position of passivity and that true revolutionary change must take place from the bottom. Additionally, we examined the differences in opinion regarding the cost of education.
Over the past couple weeks, we’ve discussed how power works with gender. Roxanne Gay argues that it’s problematic that women are not allowed to be angry, that this stereotype allows people to simply dismiss without actually hearing her opinions. In contrast, we’ve seen Cathy Young arguing that the anger implicit in much contemporary feminism actually hurts it and results in the unfair treatment of men. I’ve included another text, Marcie Bianco’s “Why We Need ‘Angry Feminism’ Now More Than Ever,” which continues this discussion.
For our next paper, we will continue our rhetorical analysis but in a much more open way. You have one of two options:
- The first is to choose two of our texts and compare them in terms of who is more rhetorically successful; this probably lends itself best to the texts we’ve looked at discussing feminism and the cost of education.
- The second choice is to compare and contrast the ideas between two of the writers in terms of how they portray power working. This will require the sort of critical thinking we’ve employed throughout our discussions. How does Freire compare to Zinn? Is free education the sort of “false generosity” that Freire’s warns against? What does anger in feminism mean in light of Zinn’s notion of fighting against those in power?